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Singapore is one of the Asian countries with lowest malware encounter rates

Anuradha Shukla | Sept. 7, 2017
Encounter rates low despite high concentration of malware hosting sites, says Microsoft report.

Credit: GraphicStock

Singapore is amongst the Asian countries with the lowest malware encounter rates for the period of January to March 2017, according to a new report by Microsoft's  global Security Intelligence Report (SIR), Volume 22.

The nation recorded a high concentration of malware hosting sites during the same period, with 21.6 malware-hosting sites for every 1,000 websites screened by Microsoft's real-time security products.

Singapore also made improvements with lower malware encounter rates of between 5.3 percent and 7.9 percent recorded in January to March 2017, versus rates of 20.2 percent recorded during the same period in 2016.

The emerging Asian economies such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia saw the highest malware encounter rates in the world.

About one in four computers running Microsoft real-time security products in these countries reported a malware encounter during January to March 2017.

"Technological advancements bring a host of cyberthreats that have the potential to shake the trust people have in technology. By sharing security intelligence in a timely manner to provide visibility for individuals and organisations to understand the cyberthreat landscape, Microsoft can empower them with the ability to protect, detect and respond to cyberthreats faster," said Richard Koh, chief technology officer, Microsoft Singapore. "As Singapore accelerates the building of a Smart Nation, insights such as these will become increasingly important to our customers and partners, who will be playing integral roles in making the Smart Nation vision a reality."


Improvements in encounter rates

Findings of the report indicate that the attacks are disproportionately concentrated in Europe while most of the Asia markets have not been too heavily impacted.

Japan and China have been listed as the two top countries with the lowest ransomware encounter rate. One of the few exceptions in Asia is Korea that has recorded the second highest ransomware occurrences worldwide.

The report advises individuals and organisations to consider minimising their cyber risk exposures and stay resilient in an everchanging threat landscape.

Organisations should not work in public Wi-Fi hotspots where attackers could eavesdrop on digital communications, capture logins and passwords, and access personal data.

They should regularly update the operating system and other software programs and educate users on why they should avoid simple passwords and enforcing multi-factor authentication methods.


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